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October 16th, 2013 ROBERT HAM | Music Stories
 

Mic Check: Martin Rev

On the legacy of Suicide

music_rev_3950MARTIN REV - IMAGE: Divine Enfant
Although he has maintained a healthy solo career, Martin Rev will forever be known for his work in Suicide, the post-punk, proto-industrial duo he started in New York with vocalist Alan Vega. In particular, the music world won’t let him forget the terrifying and brilliant backdrops Rev created for the band’s 1977 self-titled debut, which used a primitive drum machine and an over-modulated Farfisa organ to complement Vega’s tales of desperation and obsession. At the time of its release, Suicide was lost on the larger musical world, but it has since become revered by famous fans (Bruce Springsteen cites the duo as a big influence) and music obsessives worldwide—something Rev still finds shocking.

“It was a surprise. And how it was received had its own dynamic path. Some things take time to present themselves to you. That’s why a lot of things don’t get accepted at the time they’re done, but they get accepted later, at some point 10 or 20 years down the road. The first record, in its own way, was totally individual at that time. But people finally looked at it in terms of what was going on at the time and realized, ‘That was important. There was nothing else like that.’ And in 50 years, it might totally be forgotten. Suicide is still not a well-known entity. We’re hardly a household name. A lot of young musicians have still never heard of us. They may at some point find it. It’s all relative, I guess.” 


SEE IT: Martin Rev plays PDX-Antics at Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., with Vince Clarke, Cevin Key, Otto Von Schirach and more, on Friday, Oct. 18. 7 pm. $25-$50. 21+.

 
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